I was thrilled when, a few weeks ago, I got a phone call from Dan, a groom who’s wedding to Emily I’d photographed a few years ago. It’s always nice to catch up with past couples, but this was going to be a bit different!
Dan explained that he was planning a big surprise for Emily – he had arranged a surprise vow renewal on the day of their 5th wedding anniversary, at the church they were married in – St John The Baptist in Penshurst. He’d told Emily that they were going to a wedding at the church and with the help of family and friends, managed to keep it secret! It was going to be an intimate affair – Emily and Dan, their two lovely young children, and Emily’s parents. Oh, and me as well of course!
I arrived at the church early, and then met up with Emily’s parents who had come down from Devon on the pretext that they would be babysitting Emily and Dan’s two lovely children that evening, while they enjoyed the wedding reception.
We all waited anxiously for Emily and Dan’s arrival – Emily’s parents hidden around the corner, and me hidden behind a tree. As we spotted their car it was time for actio – I must admit, I felt quite a surge of adrenalin as I wanted to stay hidden for as long as possible, but also capture the moment when Emily saw her parents!
I felt a bit like Paparazzi but managed to stay hidden. Emily was a bit surprised to see me there, but still hadn’t really twigged what was going on!
Dan had obviously told Emily to go ahead with their daughter and he’d be a long with their son in the buggy – another great bit of subterfuge, as he arrived complete with flowers for the girls!
Emily still thought they were going to a wedding, so there were a few tears when Dan finally revealed the plan – to renew their wedding vows on their wedding anniversary.
The little group all made their way up to the church to meet Tom, the vicar and we then made our way up to the lovely light top altar of St John’s for the vow renewal ceremony.
The ceremony had a lovely, intimate, family affair as the kids wandered around (their son took a particular liking to the lovely, shiny things in my camera bag!!) and Emily’s parents looked on.
Vow renewals done, Tom showed family their entry in the parish register, then we made our way outside for a quick group shot, followed by a few photographs of Dan and Emily, before they made their way over to the village pub for a celebratory drink.
It was so lovely to be able to photograph this lovely couple again and see their growing family – congratulations guys!
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All photographs are copyright David Burke Photography 2016